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Fabrication of (U-Pu) Mixed-Oxide Fuel for Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors

J. P. Panakkal, M. Afzal, R. B. Bhatt, A. Prakash, A. K. Mishra, S. Kumar, H. S. Kamath

Nuclear Technology / Volume 179 / Number 2 / August 2012 / Pages 189-195

Technical Paper / Fuel Cycle and Management /

Indian pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWRs) have been operated over the years using natural UO2 bundles. An attempt has been made recently to use (U-Pu) mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel bundles containing 0.4% PuO2 to increase the burnup and reduce fuel inventory. This paper outlines the design changes made in the fuel elements and presents the important steps in fabrication of MOX fuel, the novel quality and process control procedures developed, and our experience during the fabrication of MOX fuel assemblies irradiated in one of the commercial PHWRs.

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